Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 4: Moon River





No, I am not Cornholio!


So the presidential election is over here in Korea and the center-leftist candidate Moon Jae-in has won, beating out 14 other candidates that were attempting to replace the ousted Park Geun-Hye. A full Moon is rising. Perhaps he will invoke the Moonshine policy on North Korea. Umm, that’s enough moon puns for now.


News of the Weird


On the Pulse – We discuss the ins and outs of the election and our take on what the Moon administration will mean for Korea, what promises he can keep, and what policies will flourish under his reign.

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 3: Blackface Again?

Yes, we know that we’re late in getting this episode published. We promise you that when we recorded this episode the issue was current!  You try editing one of these episodes when the only time you have to do it is when your toddler is sleeping and that’s also the only time YOU can sleep!


But yes, this episode you can hear two guys who aren’t black discuss blackface in Korea. As we try to keep our privilege in check, we find that blackface is a huge problem even today, and it keeps happening and it frankly makes us angry.


She was wearing WHAT??!?!?

More excuses before discussing this episode, the Bunker was unavailable this time so we recorded from Jesus Coffee in the Mapo-gu Office area. It’s also kind of noisy so we’re sorry.

News of the Weird

So, what if you’re both?

On the Pulse – An in depth discussion on blackface. The original sketch can be seen here

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 2: What, Me Worry?

So, North Korea has been in the news again with their saber-rattling… but our reaction is pretty much summed up by this picture:


Every time North Korea starts something, I’m like…

News of the Weird:

On the Pulse

Why does nobody in South Korea care when North Korea starts acting up? We have a long discussion about this question, but it meanders so much in the beginning because we’re actually itching to talk about Star Trek, but we bring it back and actually have a decent discussion about it in the end. Long story short, it’s because North Korea is threatening just for show, as a means of projecting itself as powerful to their own people. But now with Trump in office, can they continue the same strategies as always?

Note: The air was bad when we made this episode, so you can hear a lot of coughing and hacking. Apologies!

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 1: News and Fisting

Oh my gosh! Rob and Eugene are back after such a long long long long long long break! Yes! Season 5 is now underway, and as of this writing (on April 29th) there are actually 2 more episodes in the pipeline to be edited. So fear not, there is lots of Café Seoul headed your way so you can get your fix.

As we were planning the show, we decided that we’d do an entire episode of News of the Weird, and skip On the Pulse. because we’d been away so long. That WAS the plan, but in the first half of the show, we actually ended up having a very long discussion about whitewashing in western media and specifically about Marvel’s Iron Fist… so we’ll call that On the Pulse for this episode

So… why didn’t they just go with that guy in the center?

News of the Weird

And yes, at the end of the podcast, Eugene did mispronounce Rob’s family name, but his BS excuse is that he was mimicking how it should be pronounced in Rob’s native Canadian, know watm tokin aboot?

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 25: Make America Never Say Never Again

We DID say that episode 24 was going to be our last of season 4, but with Donald Trump winning the presidential election in the US, we had no choice but to have an emergency final final episode. We thought he’d never win the presidency, but this election has taught us to never say never again. Wow, just wow America! WTF!

Ripped from the facebook page of Gabriel Pettyjohn

Ripped from the facebook page of Gabriel Pettyjohn

News of the Weird

Lifted from Angry Asian Man

Lifted from Angry Asian Man

WTF (On the Pulse) – What does a Trump presidency mean for Korea, US-Korean relations, Korean Americans, Expats in Korea, East Asian geopolitics and the world in general? Rob and Eugene were beyond shocked at the results of the 2016 election and we probably will be for some time. We try to go as deep as we possibly can to discuss the implications of this latest WTF moment of 2016.

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 24: Storm the Gates!

At last, we are at the finale of season 4 on Café Seoul. This show is all about gates, but not about the kind of gates you’re thinking of. No, we’re talking about scandals. The spectre of corruption and the pressure to get results quickly are the causes of two very recent scandals that have severe political and economic ramifications for Korea.

News of the Weird – Reviewing an opinion piece regarding batterygate, Samsung’s exploding battery scandal.

Ask Rob & Eugene – Gatey McGateface asks why there’s no Bukdaemun, when there’s a Namdaemun, Dongdaemun, and there used to be a Seodaemun.

On the Pulse – A long drawn out discussion of Choi Soon-sil gate… the scandal involving President Park’s close friend, who has allegedly been manipulating her from behind the scenes.

Special thanks to Peter Daley for contributing to this episode!

Peter also appeared in season 3 to talk about cults, so you can hear that episode here.

For an excellent writeup about Choi Soon-sil gate, please check out Ask a Korean’s piece about it, which explains it in detail in a way that even people not totally familiar with Korea can understand it.

This graphic was obtained from the Korea Herald website. Click to Enlarge.

This graphic was obtained from the Korea Herald website.

Just for good measure...

Just for good measure…

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 23: Studying in Korea

Café Seoul is back and in this episode we focus on coming to Korea to study with American millenial exchange students Sarah and Lizzie from the University of Maryland.

News of the Weird

Image shamelessly stolen from

Image shamelessly stolen from

On the Pulse – Sarah Eppley and Lizzie Drake join Eugene and Rob as the foursome discuss their experiences of Korean universities. Keep in mind that the ladies are here temporarily on study abroad and are relatively new to Korea (less than one year). Eugene and Rob are long timers, so that might account for some of the disconnect. People always say that when you study in Korea you get out of it what you put into it. It can have you flying high or it can be a bit of a skyfall, or both!

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 22: K-Redpill vs. K-Radfem

Hyunsu Kim (The only goth in Korea) is back for this episode, as we look to her expert opinion on a recent clash that has developed between two websites that are at odds with each other on gender issues. This particular spat might be unknown to our listeners who don’t use the internet in Korean but you can take a quantum of solace in the fact that Hyunsu is here to explain it to us all.

Shoutout to Kaomi Goetz, who is running the Adapted podcast, focusing on Korean international adoptees who have returned to live in Korea. It’s a pretty sweet podcast that people interested in adoptee issues would really love, interviewing a large variety of people. Check them out here.

<— Rob mentioned he liked this song, so we added a video of it.


News of the Weird:

Ask Rob & Eugene – @albanypeacenik on twitter asks us why Korean people walk backwards for exercise

A woman was fired from her job for wearing this shirt, made by Megalia

A woman was fired from her job for wearing this shirt, made by Megalia


On the Pulse

There are lots of places on the internet where gender-related discussions blow up into long and bitter internet fights. Some of those conversations are good-faith attempts at understanding. Others are trolls going at it for the sheer lulz. In On The Pulse, recent guest Hyunsu (the only goth in Korea) talks about Megalia, a feminist response to sexism originating in Ilbe, sometimes called Korea’s 4Chan. How did these groups come to be? Do they deserve each other? Are they advancing a social goal, or just fixing for a fight? We discuss this and more on On The Pulse.

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 21: Reverse Reverse Culture Shock

Ever felt like a kid in a chocolate factory? Things are pretty awesome at first but then you see what happens when you lose sight of what's important. So then you go home and things are great at first but you feel out of place because nobody else has been living in a chocolate factory like you. So you return and it's just.. not... the same... RIP Gene Wilder

Oh lookie! Eugene made a meme out of a meme he made out of a meme he made.  RIP Gene Wilder

Ever felt like a kid in a chocolate factory? Things are pretty awesome at first but then you see what happens when you lose sight of what’s important. So then you go home and things are great at first but you feel out of place because nobody else has been living in a chocolate factory like you. So you return and it’s just.. not… the same… Is reverse reverse culture shock a thing? I suppose it’s possible that one could be dealing with a veritable roulette table of emotions. But in the casino royale of globalism, it’s quite possible that there’s a class of people that just don’t really feel comfortable in either country A or country B… and that is why we have invited former longtime expat Joe Mondello to this episode. Joe lived in Korea for most of the ’00s and early ’10s. He’s since returned to the US, but is back here for a short visit.

News of the Weird

On the Pulse – Joe Mondello, Rob, and Eugene discuss reverse reverse culture shock.

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 20: The Only Goth in Korea

Neil Gaiman's Death. From

Neil Gaiman’s Death. From here.

Do you ever feel…

Strewn with times’s dead flowers

Bereft in deathly boom

Alone in a darkened room

Who doesn’t? If you went to high school in the West in the 90s, if films like The Crow, or bands like The Cure moved your deepest heart, you might have a little Goth in you. Though Bela Lugosi is still dead, you get to die another day, and today, you can meet Hyunsu, a university student who is “The Only Goth in Korea.”

Is she really the only goth in Korea? Is it easy to find black nail polish in Seoul? And how do the fantasy works of Rick Riordan fit into the picture? Click “play” and find out!

Also this episode:

News of the Weird

Ask Rob & Eugene – Why do Korean products cost more in Korea than overseas?

On the Pulse – Discussing Korean goth culture with Hyunsu, the ONLY goth in Korea